Home > Meet Cute(2)

Meet Cute(2)
Author: Helena Hunting

“What the fu—” A takeout cup lands on the floor, and coffee splatters my face and shirt, a puddle forming under the seat I planned to take.

I struggle to right myself without putting my hand in the puddle of coffee. “Oh my God, I’m so sor—” For the second time in the past twenty minutes, I look up into familiar eyes. “This is like that episode from season two!” I’m careful to keep my voice down this time.

Daxton smirks, maybe remembering the episode I’m referring to. The one where the girl trips and falls into his lap and then they end up dating for the next three seasons.

Before he can say anything, the guy beside him pipes up. “Jesus, Hughes, can’t take you anywhere without some fangirl throwing herself at you, can we?”

They all burst into laughter, but Daxton rolls his eyes. “Don’t be a dick, McQueen, and move your damn bag. It’s your fault she tripped.”

He rearranges his legs and helps me right myself. I drop into the empty one beside him, throat tight and cheeks heating with embarrassment thanks to his friend’s comments. It’s too late to find another seat, and I’ve already drawn enough attention. People are staring and snickering. I have to adjust my feet and keep my knapsack in my lap so I don’t step in the spilled coffee. I’m so glad my hair is down today, because my face is on fire.

“Should we put bets on how many restraining orders you’re going to have to file this year?” one of his friends asks loudly.

My stomach twists and my skin feels hot and damp. My eyes threaten to water, so I dig my nails into my palms. The incident in the quad was one thing, but now there are all these eyes I can’t escape for the next hour.

Thankfully, the professor calls the class to order, and the snickering beside me quiets. At the end of class I keep my eyes on my bag as I shove my books back inside. A folded piece of paper drops onto my desk.

“See ya next week.” Daxton gives me a half grin and shoulders his knapsack, following his friends down the aisle.

I wait until they’re gone before I flip it open.

Exactly like season two ;)

Like a love-struck idiot, I carry that note around with me for the rest of the year and then tuck it away in my underwear drawer for safekeeping. Every time he says hello to me I practically swoon. When he arrives to class after me he sits behind me, and he smiles when he passes me on campus. And when the mock trials start up in class, we’re always against each other. It feels a lot like flirting.

But when it comes down to it, regardless of how friendly the competition seems, we’re all looking out for ourselves. So in our final year of law school when I go to him for help, I shouldn’t be surprised that he screws me over so he can have the thing I worked so hard for.

Fat lot of good all the visualizing success does for me in the end.

chapter one



Present Day

The problem with temp assistants is that they don’t know the rules. Such as rule number one: Take down the name of the client before you book them an appointment. My regular assistant, Cara, is on vacation and I miss her so much right now. The only thing I know about my mystery client is that they’re a couple looking to set up a trust for their daughter. Pretty freaking broad. And I have zero time to call for details because they’ll be here any minute.

My mug is halfway to my mouth when my temp assistant throws my door open. “Your next client is here!”

Half a second later she’s ushering in a couple who look to be in their mid- to late fifties. A few steps behind them is a much younger man. A man I recognize.

The same man whose teenage self is forever immortalized on my It’s My Life mug. The mug isn’t particularly flattering, boasting an image of Daxton sobbing with the hashtag #mondayforever stamped under his tear-stained face.

I almost lose my grip on the mug. As it is, the liquid sloshes over the side and runs down my hand. Thankfully, it’s just water—yes, I drink it out of a mug. I like cups with handles. I rush to set the mug on my desk and wipe my wet hands on my skirt.

I guess my clients are no longer a mystery. “Mr. and Mrs. Hughes, it’s so lovely to meet you!” Shit. My voice is so pitchy.

I shake their hands as they introduce themselves as Craig and Evelyn, and then turn to Daxton, who’s only half paying attention since he has a phone in his hand and he’s clicking away on it. Probably plotting to take down another friend.

He’s still ridiculously gorgeous, possibly even better looking than he was five years ago. He’s filled out, the lankiness of his twenties giving way to a physique I’m sure he spends many hours a week staring at in a mirror while he lifts weights.

Beyond being attractive he has that magnetic appeal so many actors possess. It makes him the perfect lawyer. His beautiful face and commanding presence scream trust me. But I know better.

I hate that I can still appreciate how nice he is to look at. I wear a tight, practiced smile as I hold out a hand even though the last thing I want to do is touch him—okay, that’s a lie, I actually have a nervous flutter in my stomach. It’s annoying.

I wait for him to recognize me as his eyes move over me in a slow sweep. They linger on my legs for a few seconds, probably because of my patterned hose—it’s how I spice up my business wardrobe. When his eyes finally return to my face, his brow furrows slightly while he shakes my hand. “Daxton Hughes. Nice to meet you.” His eyes drift to the mug on my desk, and a smirk tugs at the corner of his mouth. Motherfucker. He doesn’t even remember me.

I pull my hand from his grasp, frustrated by the tingles shooting down my arm into inappropriate places thanks to a freaking handshake. “Why don’t we all have a seat?” I better not sound breathy to anyone but myself.

They settle into the chairs around the table in my office. I wish I could hide the mug, but the image is on both sides.

Dax stretches out his long legs and slips his phone into his pocket, muffling the constant buzzing of messages.

“My assistant, Laura, indicated that you’re interested in setting up a trust for your daughter.” I flip open my laptop, and the theme song to It’s My Life fills the room. The timing couldn’t be worse. My best friend Holly regularly sends me memes and video clips as a joke. Normally it’s not embarrassing because the guy who starred in the show isn’t sitting across from me, with his parents.

I slam my fingers on the keyboard, aiming for the Mute button, but all I succeed in doing is making it louder for a few painfully awkward seconds. “So sorry about that.”

Daxton wears an amused smile. Maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world that he doesn’t seem to remember me. I fold my hands on the table and focus my attention on his parents. The back of my neck is damp and my face is on fire. “The trust for your daughter. How can I be of assistance?”

Mrs. Hughes smiles kindly. Her graying hair is cut into a short, stylish bob. Her makeup is light and carefully applied. She’s not flashy, but she’s dressed nicely. She looks so sweet. It’s too bad she birthed a gorgeous asshole. I hope her daughter is nicer.

“We’d like to secure Emme’s savings, and Daxton wanted to join us.” She pats his hand.

Daxton smiles at his mother. “I thought it might be a good idea to tag along since the trust lawyer at my firm is on leave and they didn’t want to wait.”

“Whitman and Flood is one of the best firms in the city. You’ll be in good hands here,” I say proudly.

Evelyn nods her agreement. “I keep thinking she’s just a baby, but she’ll be thirteen soon enough and then eighteen is around the corner and the next thing you know they’re moving out.” She smiles fondly at her son. “Anyway, we didn’t set up a trust for Daxton when he was Emme’s age, and it probably would’ve been a lot easier on everyone if we had.”

“Daxton was always very responsible with his money, except for his first year of college,” Mr. Hughes says.

“You could hardly blame him for that. Daxton used to star on a TV show when he was Emme’s age.” Her gaze darts to my mug for a second.

Daxton’s cheeks flush a little. “Mom, we’re not really here to ta—”

“I’m sure Miss Flowers knows what it’s like to have braggy parents,” Mr. Hughes breaks in.

I smile but the comment makes my heart twinge. It’s been a long time since someone bragged about my accomplishments, and the man who stole my biggest one is sitting on the other side of the table, and apparently doesn’t remember the way he screwed me. Not literally, thank God.

“Please, call me Kailyn,” I say through a granite smile.

Daxton’s brows pull down and he tips his head to the side, inspecting me.

“Where did you go to law school, Kailyn?” Evelyn asks.


“Really? Daxton went to law school there, too! What year did you graduate? It couldn’t have been that long ago, you’re so young.”

I fight with my hands to stay folded on the table rather than allow them to flutter around. “It’s been five years.”

“Oh my goodness! Daxton!” She grabs his arm. “You went to law school at the same time! Did you know each other?”

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